Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
Updated March 31, 2022
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Sao Tome and Principe
The Sao Tome and Principe agency responsible for drone safety, INAC, has not codified drone use regulations in Sao Tome and Principe. Go to the link above to check for recent updates.
Are drones allowed in Sao Tome and Principe?
According to INAC, Drone operations are not regulated in Sao Tome and Principe. Use the ICAO’s recommendations. Read on for more details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Sao Tome and Principe:
Absent explicit regulations we suggest you contact the INAC and follow the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations (ICAO UAS Toolkit):
- You should always consult your local Civil Aviation Authority since drone guidelines and regulations differ from country to country.
- If the drone weighs more than 25 kg (55 lbs), most States require you to obtain a permit before operating it.
- If you are paid to use the drone, or if you use it for research, most States require you to obtain a permit before operating it.
- Keep your drone within eyesight at all times
- Read the users’ manual thoroughly before operating your drone
- Check your drone before each flight
- Don’t fly within 50 meters (55 yards) of or over people, property, or vehicles
- Don’t fly more than 150 meters (490 feet) from the ground
- Don’t fly near an airport. Stay at least 8km (5 miles) away.
- Always remember that you are now a remote pilot and are responsible for flying safely and avoiding collisions.
Why follow ICAO recommendations when a country does not have drone regulations?
ICAO is a United Nations Specialized Agency, funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).
Its core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy (the ICAO Secretariat) supporting these diplomatic interactions and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or by the ICAO Council which the assembly elects.
ICAO is not a regulator but it provides standards to all its member states (those that signed up to the Chicago convention mentioned earlier). This means that most nations around the world are coordinating with ICAO, and those countries with limited resources for developing drone regulations are supported by ICAO in their development of regulations.
IACO provides ICAO Model UAS regulations and circulars that are adopted by member states.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Sao Tome and Principe
See general rules above.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Sao Tome and Principe
See general rules above.
Useful published information on flying drones in Sao Tome and Principe
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Sao Tome and Principe…
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone
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